Former Geauga County Common Pleas Judge Robert Barney Ford, of Burton, Ohio died Monday, October 15, 2018 after a long illness. He was 97. Born October 4, 1921 in Zanesville, OH, Ford lived in Erie, PA, graduating from Strong Vincent High School before taking up residence in his family’s ancestral home in Burton. He is the great grandson of Ohio Governor Seabury Ford. Ford graduated Ohio State University and was commissioned Lieutenant in the U.S. Army field artillery in 1940. He commanded Battery C, 152nd Field Artillery in combat in France and Germany in World War II, including the Battle of the Bulge, and rose to the rank of Major. He was awarded the Bronze Star. After the war, Ford attended Western Reserve University Law School, and practiced law briefly before he was appointed Judge of the Geauga County Probate and Juvenile Court in 1952 by then- Governor Frank Lausche. He later ascended to the Common Pleas bench where he served until his retirement in 1980. During his time on the bench, Ford also was active in judicial reform statewide and led the committee that rewrote judicial guidelines for jury instructions under the direction of the Supreme Court of Ohio.
After retiring from the Geauga County bench, Ford served as visiting judge for the Ohio Supreme Court hearing cases in many Ohio cities, including Cleveland, Youngstown, Toledo, and Akron.
Ford is survived by his two sons, Robert (Emily) Ford and Thomas (Anna) Ford, four grandchildren, Rebecca (Rolando) Ford-Paz, Rachel Ford, Nathan (Isobel) Ford, and Benjamin (Caitlin) Ford, and three great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Margaret Ford, his 1st wife Alice Ford, his 2nd wife Ina Ford, his sister Margaret Patricia Ford and his brother Harvey Seabury Ford.
Private Services will be held.
In his memory, donations can be made to the Burton Public Library, PO Box 427, Burton, Oh 44021 or to the Burton Historic District Association, PO Box 937, Burton, Oh 44021.
Burton Public Library
P. O. Box 427, Burton OH 44021
Burton Historic District Association
P O Box 937, Burton OH 44021